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Home > Bass Clubs > Southwest Colorado Bassmasters > John Beranek Wins Lake Powell STQT

John Beranek Wins Lake Powell STQT

Posted by admin on May 23, 2012

1_John_Beranek200.jpg          John Beranek is rather humble about his win this year at the State Team Qualifying Tournament and he thanks everyone he could think of in this report.

     John wanted to be a boater at the event, but because we had more boaters than non-boaters some of the boaters had to enter a draw to see who would use their boats each day.

     John fished the first day out of his boat, but days 2 and 3 in another boat; those last two days provided the best catches he had of the whole event!

     Even though I was very disappointed in not being able to use my new boat for but one day of the tournament due to lack of non-boaters, I did have a little confidence as I was able to pre-fish with my boat as well as use it the first day of the tournament.

     Day 1: I was able to catch fish that I had found pre-fishing and felt confident going in to weigh in with my 13 pounds. Little did I know that the largemouth had moved up in the coves, and many heavier bags were being caught! Sitting in 12th place after day one and knowing I would be a non-boater for the rest of the tournament did not give me much confidence, but having fished well as a non-boater in last year’s state qualifier (Truman Lake, where John also made the State Team,) and placing fourth overall, I felt that I could keep my position after day one and qualify for the team as a non-boater.

     Day 2: This is when I first started realizing that I am blessed. Day 2 found me partnered with the leader of the tournament Johnny Parks. No one I know has more experience and success at Lake Powell than he does. He not only put us on fish, but was a model boater in giving me water to fish and encouragement throughout the day. Perhaps the best experience a non-boater could ask for.  Day 2 weigh in of just over 17 pounds moved me to 5th place.

     Day 3: On the morning of day 3 I found myself in a quandary. My boater was fishing way north, but I knew the biggest bags were coming out of Halls and Bullfrog Bays. Fortunately, my day 3 boater was willing to go to my water in Bullfrog instead of going north. (Thank you Dave!) The first stop in the morning was an isolated point in Bullfrog where I had found some larger smallmouth in pre-fish. We ran the points with spinner baits in the low light, but could only muster one keeper between us.

     Our next stop was a place that I found in pre-fish but hadn’t fished yet. Since this was a sight fishing tournament with bass on beds, I knew that all the spawning coves in clear water had been hammered on for days. I surmised that a good spawning cove that had dirty water had probably not been fished yet and may produce. Therefore, I pointed my boater to a dirty water cove that I had found, hoping there would be fish.

     The first 100 yards did not produce a bite. But then they turned on. The trick was to pretend there was a bed at the base of every bush. I would cast past it, and let it drop on a slack line to the base of the target. There I would leave it and slightly twitch it. While my boater was working the bait back to the boat, I was dead-sticking it on the target. It turned out to be an epic day.

     When I went to weigh in at the end of the day I had no expectations of winning. The leaders had been consistently bringing in good bags, and knowing their talent, I thought for sure that my best hope was for third place. When Johnny Parks told me he hadn’t caught a good bag and the fish had moved off the beds in clear water it finally hit me that my 18 pound bag was going to be enough.

     As far as the bait that worked? While a couple of fish were caught on spinner bait and tubes, the lure that tricked 80% of my fish… What else, a Senko, (Gary Yamamoto can feel free to sponsor me at this time.)

     Overall, my success was due to competent boaters, willing fish, thinking out of the box on the last day, and mostly a lot of help from the Lord above. I am grateful to all.

John Beranek